Monday, December 16, 2013

Busted Rear Strut Mount

The Electric Booger has been running great. Now that the weather turned cold...well...for around here, around zero celius (32F) in the mornings, I definitely notice a lack of performance showing up as voltage sag (down 1.5 volts during normal acceleration). But my range hasn't been affected much, or so it seems. Not that I ever exploit the full range of the car anyway.

A few weeks ago I started to get a squeaking noise coming from the right rear strut area. At first I thought it was a problem with the ex-rear seat, battery rack, hatch or even the body cracking because of the extra weight. Then the noise progressed to a clicking noise. Then on Thursday, as I rounded a corner and hit a bump, there was a large BANG, followed by a constant RATTLE CLUCK KNOCKIDY KNOCK KNOCK. I stopped for a quick visual and finding nothing obvious, I kept driving.

Up on the jack with some interior panels removed, I was startled to find that the right rear strut mount had rusted right through and broke. Here's a video:
It turns out that a guy at work used to have a Mazda Protege and had an extra brand new strut mount, which also broke on him and also fits MX-3s. I gave him a few bucks for it, borrowed his spring compressor and made short work of making the repair.

Check out the rustiness:

And the knackered strut mount:

Here is the strut with the new strut mount installed:

It was not looking forward to spending money on new struts, but as it turns out, this strut is an aftermarket KYB strut, so they have been replaced before. It still felt quite good when I worked it up and down. I don't feel bad for being cheap by only replacing the mount and not the strut as well. But I should probably be proactive and get another strut mount for the left side and replace it as well, hey?

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